NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0243

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Proposal Information for 2014B-0243


PI: Benjamin Tofflemire, University of Wisconsin-Madison, tofflemi@astro.wisc.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, 475 N Charter St, Madison, WI 53706, US

CoI: Robert Mathieu, University of Wisconsin-Madison
CoI: David Ardila, CalTech - IPAC

Title: Accretion Dynamics in Pre-Main Sequence Binaries

Abstract: Most stars are born in binaries, and the evolution of protostellar disks in pre-main-sequence (PMS) binary stars is a current frontier of star formation research. PMS binary stars can have up to three accretion disks: two circumstellar disks and a circumbinary disk separated by a dynamically cleared gap. Theory suggests that mass may flow in an accretion stream from a circumbinary disk across the gap to circumstellar disks or stellar surfaces. The accretion rates are predicted to be dynamically modulated on the orbital period. This proposal seeks to trace the proposed accretion flows in 4 short- period PMS binaries that have evidence for disk material (e.g. mid-IR excess) and ongoing accretion (e.g. strong H(alpha) emission). For our brightest target, V4046 Sgr, we propose time-series, high-resolution spectroscopy coupled with near-simultaneous optical/IR photometry using the SMARTS 1.5m and 1.3m telescopes. Observations over multiple orbital periods will the test theoretical predictions of accretion in PMS binaries. For our remaining targets we propose time-series, optical/IR photometric monitoring to trace variability in accretion luminosity and warm circumstellar material as a function of orbital phase.


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